Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Budget padding: Jibrin’s move to seek protection against suspension from House fails

An Abuja Federal High Court, on Wednesday, refused to entertain two separate suits filed by a former Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Appropriation, Abdulmumin Jibrin, in regards to his travails over his padding allegations against some principal officers of the House.
Recall that Jibrin had on June 21, 2016, accused the Speaker of the House, Yakubu Dogara; his Deputy, Yusuf Lasun; Chief Whip’ Ado-Doguwa and Minority Leader, Leo Ogor of allegedly inserting over N40bn into the 2016 budget.

Some of the affected lawmakers had threatened to suspend Jibrin when the House reconvenes, stressing that he can’t go unpunished.

Jibrin in a bid to frustrate the move to suspend him, had filed a suit marked, FHC/ABJ/CS/595/2016, against the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, his Deputy, Yusuf Lasun and other principal officers of the lower chamber seeking order to stop their alleged plan.

In the second suit marked, FHC/ABJ/CS/595/2016, the lawmaker also sought judicial relief stopping the respondents from violating his rights in the course of investigation of the alleged budget padding.

He sued the Police, the Inspector-General of Police, the Commissioner of Police, FCT Command; Dogara, and other principal officers of the House as well as the Attorney-General of the Federation.

But Justice Okon Abang, refused to hear the suit , saying the lawmaker failed to obtain leave of court to have his cases heard since the judiciary is on recess.

According to Justice Abang, “A matter filed during court vacation is not heard as a matter of cause.

“The applicant is expected to apply and obtain the leave of court to have his matter herd during the court vacation in line with the provisions of Order 46 Rule 5 of the Federal High Court Civil Procedure Rules 2009. I so hold.

“This applicant did not do so. I do not have jurisdiction to even grant an adjournment of this suit.

“It is expected that the applicant will do the needful to comply with the provisions of the rules of this court.”

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